I recently discovered a great free online program that I've been using for all kinds of things. I don't know about you, but I'm a list maker. I've tried making lists on notepads, sticky notes, emails, Word documents, etc., and it has worked fine. However, this program makes it fun, and I find it highly addictive.
The program is Habitica. You can get to it and sign up by going to www.habitica.com. I'm not just using it for writing, but have started leaning on it increasingly for writing related reminders and habits, and I figured I'd pass along the information for other list makers (no, I'm not being paid to endorse it; I just really like it.
It's a website where you can get rewarded for accomplishing items on your to-do list. You create a character, join quests where the points you earn help you battle monsters, and you can hatch and feed pets/mounts. All of this sounds time consuming, but it's not. Otherwise, it would be just another distraction for me.
What you do is create four different lists: Habits, Dailies, To-Dos, and Rewards. So in habits I have things like "Walk 1000 steps," "Drink a glass of water," "Get up and stretch," and "Write for ten minutes." Under dailies, I have "Write daily," "Do something writing related daily," "Exercise/Walk," and "Read." To-dos are the things that would have gone on my old lists, such as "Edit Story X," "Submit rejected story Y," "Wash colors," "Research creating LLC," etc. And under rewards I've put stuff like "Purchase Funko Pop," (because I get one for each short story published) and "Drink milkshake," (which I get to have when I finish a novel.
You check these things off as you do them. Dailies reset each day, so even though you check them off today, they will be back tomorrow. To-dos are gone once you check them, so you have to add them again if it needs to reoccur. Habits are different, in that they should be things you want to do throughout the day with some regularity. That way, you click on them multiple times in a day and earn lots of points. I put habits I want to start or get more consistent with here. You can also set these to be negative, so if you sign into Facebook more than you should, setting this so you have to click on "Visited Facebook" and lose points every time you do it can be a deterrent.
Here's a screenshot from Habitica:
Whenever you click on one of these accomplished tasks, you fill the yellow bar you see on the top left. This is how you level up. It's your XP, for those who game (I don't, but I've been around gamers.) You can also earn extra items, like armor, weapons, food for the pets/mounts, etc.
Plus, you can friend people on there and go on quests together, which just means that your XP attacks the monster, and you get updates. It can also harm you if you do not fulfill all your dailies in a given day.
If you're interested, it's free to sign up, and you can check it out on your own. It's great for writing related tasks. Aside from using it to reinforce writing daily, I will put blog posts on the to-do for specific topics/themes, any writing related work I need to do at all, whether it's writing, editing, submitting, research, or anything else having to do with writing. I also used it for a writing contest I was judging, because they sent me 66 entries to judge. I like to go in two steps, so first I do the initial read and my first judging responses and comments. I then go back at a later time to read again and update scores/comments. Keeping track of what I'd done with 66 entries took some extra work, but I used Habitica, and it helped immensely. Plus, I got to check off each entry twice, and to earn points for it. Bonus!
You can break a task down into sub-tasks, include due dates, and all sorts of things I haven't bothered checking out yet.
Even better, I got my kids to join, and they can put chores, homework, and various tasks on there, plus habits they need to get better about, and we can do the quests together and chat in the program.
Side note: Your friends cannot see your list of to-dos, just your character, pet/mount, and level. They won't know if you have something embarrassing on the list.
Again, it's free. And ad-free. So check it out! It can't hurt.
Okay, link time. Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.
Before I get to the submissions, I wanted to pass along this deal via AppSumo for 100 credits toward stock images on Depositphoto for $49. I have a friend who bought this a year ago, and is loving it, so it is legitimate. It's one credit per image, and they are usable in print and electronic, so you can use this for book covers and such. I didn't see when this deal goes away, but it was still going at 2:00 AM, so I hope you can still grab it.
Johns Hopkins University is seeking submissions of short stories with disabled characters written by those with disabilities for (Dis)ability. 500 to 7500 words. All genres except erotica (must be appropriate for those 14 and up). Pays $30. Deadline October 1.
B Cubed is seeking science fiction for pre-teen readers for Cosmic Caravans. Poetry or prose. 300 to 3000 words. Pays $.02/word, plus royalties. Deadline October 7.
Thirteen Press is seeking horror along the theme of Buried; Swords Against Cthulhu: A New Dark Age; Bringing it Back; Sacrifice; Lonesome Train; Revenge; Blood; Blood on the Tree; Kek V's Cthulhu; Time Port 1985; Sweat, Steel, & Cruise Control; Ashes; Hyper Tomb: Crypt of the Cyber-Mummy; and Locked In. Up to 5000 words. All pay in royalties. Deadline October 15.
Splickety Havok is seeking Science Fiction in the theme Deep Space Design. 300 to 1000 words. Pays $.02/word. Deadline October 27.
Have you tried out Habitica? Are you a list person? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?
May you find your Muse.